AFTER a mediocre harvest last year, agriculture experts who have set high targets for 1994 are hoping that China will not be hit by natural calamities this year. The anxiousness was best reflected in a recent statement by State Councillor Chen Junsheng. In a recent meeting with agriculture experts, the councillor reportedly said China was able to get by last year thanks to ''efforts by the people, favourable policies from the Government and help from gods''. The China News Agency (CNS) said: ''A series of policies will be put forward by the Government in 1994. Nevertheless, China's agriculture development is not going to be easy this year.'' According to the CNS, China's grain output reached 450 million tonnes last year but cotton output dropped severely along with a steady decline of farmland. The cotton industry was hardest hit when bad weather swept through major producer provinces such as Shandong forcing up prices of yarn across the country. Market reform and transportation bottlenecks also made it more difficult for planners to control prices of commodities. Although the production of cash crops such as vegetables and dairy products was satisfactory last year, their prices fluctuated greatly late last year mainly due to hoarding, profiteering and speculation. Nevertheless, agriculture planners still hope to achieve a 20 per cent increase of cotton production this year. The output of oil crops is expected to increase at least six per cent, the CNS said. Planners also expect to increase farmers' income by five per cent this year against an average of about two per cent in previous years. In order to achieve those targets, the Government will finance the establishment of 150 ''priority cotton producer bases'' hoping to maintain a total cotton area of more than 90 million mu (six million hectares) this year. Last year, at least seven million mu of farmland was wasted or diverted to industrial uses and the Government has decreed that the national farmland area must be maintained above the 1.6 billion mu level.